By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support local journalism.
Simmons Says - Final thoughts on region
Simmons, Jeffery 2022.png

Here are my final nuggets about the Pioneers playing in Region 4-6A: 

Non-region schedule was better option

From talking to the decision makers, I know they were worried that the Pioneers may lack the ability to schedule 10 games on their own. Matt Turner said, “It would be very difficult to schedule without playing the same teams that are within the regions we would be asking to get out of and what are we saying to our kids if we tried to elect to not compete for something.”

Difficult? Probably. Impossible? I doubt it. 

Warren County didn’t take long to get Smithville, Sparta and Tullahoma on the hook for non-region games after the TSSAA released schedules Monday. Being a team with every week free would've allowed the Pioneers to find appropriate dates to go up against Coffee County and Cookeville too. 

At that point, you’re halfway there against rural(ish) teams from around the area. Filling out the rest may have taken some work, but I think it would’ve been worth putting in extra hours.

Travel didn’t matter

Warren County can’t claim an aggrieved status for travel anymore after  willingly adding extra miles to avoid Murfreesboro in football, so gas up the buses.

Better yet, just make sure the buses are there. It’s been a problem over the last 3-4 years for multiple teams, particularly ones that don’t have coaches with a CDL. There are plans being made, but hopefully that doesn’t include making all our coaches become part-time bus drivers too.

Ask the kids

I wonder if White County’s players were appalled when the Warriors went to a non-region schedule four years ago. I bet they didn’t mind – and I’m sure those kids didn’t care at all when they were winning playoff games this year after resurrecting their program the last four seasons.

The kids don't get to run the program, but it wouldn't hurt for them to be able to voice their thoughts. Assuming a non-region schedule signals to them that nobody believes in our kids is disingenuous.

Do we care?

My biggest takeaway from writing about how to move into the future: the general apathy from people I figured would be very opinionated. Resignation to being a downtrodden football program is deeply embedded into our community, so much so that I don’t think people really even care where the TSSAA puts the Pioneers or who Warren County plays.

Until we get the community involved in youth football and kids back in uniform, we’re never going to change for good.

Our coach cares. And it seems like about 2% of the student body does too. 

Two percent is fine for milk. It’s not going to make a great football program though.